Content curation means more than rummaging through the internet for what to post on a slow day. It’s a whole process that, when done right, can do wonders for your reach and audience engagement. This guide will cover the basics of content curation as well as the benefits it can bring (spoiler alert: a lot).
What does curated content mean?
The most basic curated content definition states that it is the process of handpicking external content and sharing it on your channels. The more relevant it is to your audience, the more it will boost your brand’s credibility, as it could help you position your brand as an industry expert. Sounds simple, but there’s more to this process than meets the eye.
How much content should you curate?
While there is no clear consensus on how much content you should curate, as it depends on the specificities of your audience, a general rule of thumb is that you should prioritize quality over quantity. If we were to crunch some numbers, curated content should make up for no more than 20, 30% of your total content shared on social media.
Why this specific range? The short answer is “content repurposing”. The long answer — well, squeezing a few pieces of curated content between original, in-house content is one thing. Building your entire strategy around content curation is another and doesn’t bode well for your brand’s credibility.
How content curation is beneficial in social media
Content curation on social media can lead to high conversion and engagement rates. This is because you don’t create content from scratch, but research high-quality external content.
When curating content for social media, one can start by identifying relevant, trending hashtags. This is a great way to find high-quality content, as trending topics naturally attract industry leaders, who will always be quick to jump on the trend and provide their insights.
As for the benefits themselves, social media requires a constant stream of content to keep engagement rates up, but realistically, pumping high-quality content regularly is simply not feasible. So, curating content effectively keeps the conversation going and helps your brand stay in the spotlight.
How to curate content in the right way
With new trends popping up all the time and everybody jumping on the bandwagon, standing out from the crowd is tougher than ever. This section focuses on curating content the right way and identifying the content relevant to your audience.
Sharing original content is arguably preferable in the long run, but it takes much of the effort, time, money, and creativity. Secondly, there’s no guarantee that your original content will pull in high numbers.
You need to curate content like a pro to keep your audience engaged without much effort. Here are the steps to curate content:
1. Know your audience
Having a keen understanding of your audience is a vital part of the content curation process. Why? Well, it’s quite obvious — people just don’t like seeing things irrelevant to their interests popping up on their feeds.
The primary purpose of curated content is to provide your audience with content that is not only in their niche, but also saves them precious time. In some ways, content curation is more customer-focused than original content, because it addresses specific needs.
In that respect, Keyhole is a great social listening & brand monitoring tool that will provide you with valuable insights about your audience, and so much more.
Here are a few features that will help you gain a better understanding of your audience and take your content curation efforts to the next level:
- A bird’s eye view of your brand and the industry. With Keyhole, you can access your direct and indirect brand mentions in one place, making engaging with your audience in real time easier.
- Industry research. Identify industry trends with Keyhole’s QuickTrends. With it, you can aggregate data from all of your social accounts to perform in-depth analysis of your competitors on the spot, right in the dashboard.
- Social listening and account optimization. Use Keyhole’s social listening data to get an in-depth look of your audience and their interests. This will later translate into increased conversions, more followers, better engagement and valuable “intelligence” — such as the best time to post.
2. Mind the categories
To better curate content, you should create separate categories so that it will be easily shareable. This will prevent sharing duplicate content.
Depending on your brand or industry, you should have a mix of original as well as curated content that engages the audience.
For example, A company selling agendas (yes, physical; some of us still use them) can have a mix of, well, agenda-specific content — content relating to productivity, time-management, and so on.
Some companies with specific products don’t want to share content related directly to their area of activity, and they focus on content that they believe would be relevant to their audience.
3. The sources
Now that you’ve figured out how much content you want to curate and categorized it accordingly, the next step is to gather sources.
A general rule of thumb is to not resort to a single source; opt for a variety of sources. Besides the obvious benefit of providing your audience with a continuous stream of fresh content, it can also lead to building relationships with content creators.
You can source your content in the following ways:
- Simply reshare content that others have published. Curation of user-generated content with relevant hashtags and keywords can encourage people to tag you their posts, thereby mentioning your product too.
- The other method can be tedious or time-consuming as it involves manual research. For the content you like the most, you can bookmark it and curate it at a later stage. However, instead of using tools, one can also make use of browser extensions to make this process go faster.
4. Sharing curated content
Once you have followed the previous steps, you’re ready to share your curated content. However, the key here is not to just simply share it, but personalizing it to match the tastes and interests of your audience. Copy-pasting a link and dumping it in your Tweet will only take you so far, and it certainly won’t be on-brand.
Another issue is properly spacing out the content. As mentioned previously, the best approach is to go for a healthy mix of original content and curated content.
However, the bigger the brand and your following, the more arduous the publishing logistics will be.
You can schedule the content to be shared by making use of the original promotional content and then filling the gaps with curated content. This way, your feeds will feel active, and you will also avoid sharing the same content again and again.
To properly space out your content and avoid posting duplicates, you can use dedicated tools such as Planable.
Planable is a social media collaboration tool that helps social media teams and marketers create, schedule, and collaborate on social media content. Here are some of the features Planable has that can make the process of content curation easier:
- A sleek and easy to use social media calendar. With it, teams can not only get a bird’s eye view of their campaign, but also see at a glance the content that has been posted in the past and scheduled for the future. To reschedule posts, all users need to do is dragging and dropping the post in their preferred time slot.
- Labels. A vital feature for content curation. Teams can assign posts to their relevant labels (ex: productivity; inspirational; marketing etc). This way, teams can identify their content gaps and focus their efforts into a specific topic — and it also helps avoiding posting duplicate content.
- A collaboration-centric design. Teams can collaborate and share feedback right next to the post, in comments or replies, whether it’s about their Instagram Grid or writing copy for sharing an ebook.
5. Analyze the content
A proper analysis will offer you valuable insights about your content, its feasibility to rank or engage the audience. If it is not up to the mark, you can tweak the content, personalize, and then share.
Following the steps mentioned above, you can easily curate content, understand your audience as make use of the right tools and strategies to achieve better results.
The myths about curated content
In this section, we’re going to take a look at a few myths surrounding curated content:
- Saves time
One of the myths surrounding content curation is that it saves time. In reality, if you do it by the book, it could (potentially) take as much time as creating original content.
Content curation comes down to filtering content, personalizing it, tapping into your (ideally) vast collection of sources, and developing a social media strategy around it. Naturally, this takes time — but the more time and effort you put into this whole process, the more effective it will be.
In other words, if you’re doing it solely to save time — you’re doing it for the wrong reasons.
- Finding relevant content
Choose your content wisely, because if you share every post or article straightaway, you won’t fetch better results. It can cause more harm than making your brand build its reputation in the long run.
- Don’t worry about your content
Content curation is useful for filtering content that can be useful to your audience — but that doesn’t mean you should rely solely on it. Sure, many pages do that, but original content carries more weight in terms of conversion in the long run. As for the curated/original content ratio mentioned above, it’s not a hard and fast rule. Look at content curation as a way to help your audience in a meaningful way and get into the conversation.
The benefits of curated content
- A trusted source for your audience
Content curation establishes your credibility as a thought leader. If done right, your audience will find in you a trusted source that shares the content of high relevance and value.
- Eliminates some of the pressure of creating new content
Earlier, we said that if you curate content to save time, you’re doing it for the wrong reasons — but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t help. The average brand has to juggle multiple social media platforms, plus blogs and other resources. Creating content for them takes a small army, and it’s common knowledge that spreading your team too thin will eventually dilute the quality.
Therefore, curating content can somewhat alleviate the pressure of having to constantly pump fresh content into your channels. Plus, there’s the benefit of repurposing — which we’ve mentioned earlier in the article.
- Builds a library of useful resources
Content curation is not useful only for your audience — it can also help your team become more productive.
I don’t think it’s too controversial to say that the internet, in its vastness of knowledge and resources, can make finding useful information a daunting task. So, high-level content curation focuses both on finding useful resources for your audience, as well as building a knowledge base that your team can tap into later. Examples of resources can include ebooks, industry-relevant studies, articles, blogs, and so forth. And here’s the beautiful thing about this — curation done right can lead to creating original content.
- Connect with influencers
Curated content produced by influencers can be beneficial for you. By endorsing their content, you can eventually tap into their audience and increase your visibility.
When you share their work, make sure to tag them on social media or by sharing curated blog posts links. This way, you will build solid relationships with influencers and keep them connected to your niche.
- It can improve SEO
By curating content, you create more opportunities for search engines to get more eyeballs on your channels. While SEO should never be the main goal of content curation — remember that whole “helping your audience and establishing yourself as a thought leader part” — it can help indirectly. The key here is to focus on trending topics and find high-level content produced in that niche.
And that’ll be it for this guide on content curation. The main takeaway is that content curation should be viewed as a way to provide value to your audience. When done right, content curation can lead to your brand becoming a trusted source of valuable information, which can lead to increased leads and conversions.